Adding the 2018 Felix to the 2018 Mariners
I like the hunger, and I like the chances to compete with Yovani Gallardo


Thus endeth the most boring winter in 40 years' worth of Mariner offseasons.  Can I get a witness here?  

So opening Real Week has buried us all in an avalanance of Felix articles:


1) A Times article fixated on the King's spring mantra "I'm Different."  Different ... than in his '17 and '18 injury years?  Different ... as in, I accept that I'm a quality innings eater and not a superstar?  Different... "than everybody else," in his own words.  Dr. D's guess is that this is his version of Hillary's big red plastic re-set button.  The article sez,

he process to do that started at the end of last season and stretched into the offseason, when Hernandez finally was free of shoulder discomfort. It was an unexpected injury.

“It was fine in (the World Baseball Classic) and when I pitched in winter ball, and then early in April something happened,” he said.

Could that “something” have stemmed from the truncated (cut-short) progression early in the year and pitching at a high level for the WBC before building up arm strength?


2) A Yahoo piece that rather impolitely leads off the camp with the Paxton/Opening Day issue.  Servais says sympathetically, "we all have things to prove."  The King says, here and elsewhere, I got absolutely nuttin' to prove.  But he's got a lot of poker tells - if this, if that, if the other.  If I can exceed Jerry's 25 starts.  If a lot of things.


3) MLB saying that Felix will do things different this year.  Read:  he won't do them the way he feels like doing them.  Take that as a plus too:  when you can get an old, dinged-up warhorse back to drinking raw eggs and running at 4:30 in the morning, there's no telling what you might see.


Which leaves us where?  With two Felixes (Felices?):

(1) A lack of progress in March, the mushy fastball and the quality secondary artillery that equates to "innings eater."

(2) A rejuvenated (decent) fastball and bunch of 7 IP, 2 ER starts.


Felix threw 87 innings last year, leaving plenty of room for Yovani Gallardo's 22 starts' worth of 5.72 ERA - in front of a top-10, even top-5 defense.  Miranda chipped in 29 starts' worth of 5.12 ERA, Gaviglio a nice robust 11 starts clocking a 4.62 in front of a spacious outfield with fleet defenders, never mind the odd 19.80 start from Chris Heston and slop like that.  

But let's not get distracted from the Yovani Gallardo thing, shall we not?  Dr. D intends to enjoy this one last shot to the fullest.  It is one of the dumbest things this franchise has ever done, and we are talking about dumb things done since 1977, and the were dumb talking beginning (March) middle (summer) and end (all the way to that 3.2-inning wave goodbye on the way out of town.)  Leave us not forget we paid $11M ($9M) for those 28 games' (22 starts') worth a' 6 runs a game.

Hey, seriously.  It's a big wave of a pom-pom here.  Gallardo is not here in 2018.  That is, conservatively, 20 to 30 wins all by itself.  Never mind Miranda's 29 starts are replaced by starts made by whoever is throwing thee ball well, and the 40 pitcher thing, and all the other bad stuff that has not happened yet.

Felix collapsing to 87 innings has also not happened yet.


It's a funny thing; read the February 2018 comments on Fangraphs and all the brainiacs steeple their fingers as they talk about 76 wins, maybe 76.2, could be 76.4 if you're inclined to be a lobotomized homer.  But!  When was the hard drive wiped clean of 2017's 86 wins and last-week playoff brawl.  The main difference was just a whole bunch of decent-middlin' innings in the middle of the almanac.  Crazy, crazy, crazy the way smart people get hypnotized by one year's stats.

Think in terms of the 86-win team, at least for a few weeks here as we watch bullpens, and think about 60 stolen bases in front of a fearsome lineup.


Dr D


tjm's picture

. . . true, but even if we get normal injury luck this year rather than that tsunami of bad juju from last summer. Then we, what, reboud to 86 wins. The problem with that plan is the Astros, Yankees and Angeles, all ahead of us, all got better. So did Toronto behind us. So will Boston once Martinez signs. We're playing for the wild card, probably the second wild card, before the season even opens. That is such a narrow opening to success. 

This looks like the US mission in Afghanistan. We keep doing the same thing and expect the outcome to be different because we hope something good happens. Hope is not a plan. Or at least not a very good one.


won 80 games last year. Their rotation was also devastated and their only addition to it is...An oft injured pitcher adjusting to a new league.  This idea that the Angels are better than the Mariners seems like nonsense to me, everywhere I read it.  Which is basically everywhere I read about the Angels at all.  From the moment Ohtani chose them I tried to figure out why and haven't yet.  I like our lineup and bullpen way more and feel safer with our starters actually making starts.  Ramirez, Leake and Gonzales were added to address that here, I don't think the Angels have actually addressed that beyond Ohtani who's basically a RH Paxton (injury concerns and track record of low innings included).

They got better overall and also likely won't be hit as hard by injuries but they're doing more hoping on that front than the Mariners who actually made changes to address it.  Beyond the Japanese lottery, as it were.

We're replacing bad performances not only in the rotation but also (presumably) improving by getting fuller seasons from several bats that went down, a more mature Diaz with a bullpen that has potential to be envied everywhere else and youth maturing.  I feel almost everyone is counting out a team that has a hell of a lot more on the roster than hope.

Let's say its only 86 wins though.  How many teams in the AL had at least that many last year?  4. And the rest of the AL is a big chunk of the "collusion" talk that largely haven't done squat to add anything significant. 


I think they're badly overrated. They kept Upton, added Ohtani, and a couple infielders...but this wasn't a dominant club either offensively or in pitching. They won 80 games and played lucky. We won 78 games and played unlucky. And we had way more problems with injuries than they did.

tjm's picture

Or anything close to it.

Just that they finished ahead of the Mariners and were maybe the only team in the AL to have as much bad luck as the M's. So you had a team that was slightly better and added a potential star. I actually like the M's line-up a lot and the pitching could be OK. My complaint was there were obvious adds you could have made in the rotation and we sat on our hands. When well-matched opportunities present themselves you gotta take your shot.


Do you suppose Dipoto knows that his team is filled with RISKY pitchers and is waiting to see if anyone important breaks...and...if they do, then he goes and spends money to replace them?


I can't bring myself to hope for injury anyway.  I hope that either we're hearing about a couple of them having improved pitches or some such in the next week or the unexpected signing happens.  I'm fine with the current starters as long as the necessary improvements happen with at least 1 of the young guys.  Or Felix reverts to usefulness at least.

The only postseason M's game I've made it to was Moyers Oct. 2nd start in 97.  Randy lost the day before and Moyer just looked gassed from the start.  It didn't look like a '97 start from Moyer.  At 34 he had only just come into his own and hadn't yet had either of his best seasons.  In '01 Moyer was great in the second spot and they advanced.   Point is it's a lot tougher to get anywhere in the playoffs without 2 solid starters.  I doubt any of you need reminded of that.  We may have 2 or more but it's more questionable now than it actually has been in a very long time here.  Maybe we've been spoiled by usually having a couple rocks at the front for so long.

The postseason is a long way off and that being my main reasoning for really needing another stud also means that there's potentially plenty of time to find one in the current mix or bring one in.  If the FA market is so depressed by less teams fighting for postseason, what do you expect that will do to the trade market in July? 


If he's resembling Carlos Silva I'm on the phone. 

Just can't include a no trade clase.  If Arrietta needs that I'm calling Lynn and Cobbs agents. 

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